Model David Gandy is helping a 208-year-old Savile Row tailor he favours himself in its bid to make it big in Japan.
The top model is fronting a marketing campaign by Henry Poole & Co, which has made suits for Winston Churchill and Napoleon III, after the company struck a deal with Japanese fashion giant Onward Kashiyama to sell its suits across the country.
The tailor has made suits for members of the Japanese establishment since the 1870s and in 1921 provided white tie to Prince Hirohito, who went on to lead Japan in the Second World War.
And now younger, fashion-conscious Japanese men are seeing the appeal of the tailored British suit.
Simon Cundey, who owns the tailor with his father Angus, said: “We have had loyal customers in Japan who have been with us for nearly 30 years. They are real perfectionists there.
“They are focused on smart three-piece suits and even the younger men in their thirties are now interested in buying.”
The tailor will supply designs, patterns and fabrics and Onward Kashiyama will make the suits, to be sold in stores in Tokyo, Osaka and other key cities.
Onward Kashiyama is a heavyweight in the Japanese fashion industry and is the licensing partner of Paul Smith in the country and owns brands including Jil Sander and Joseph.
Japan, which is the world’s second largest luxury goods market, has long been a key country for London tailors. The word sabiro – derived from the name Savile Row –means suit in the language.
Cundey, who is the seventh generation of the family to run the business, added: “We have had loyal customers in Japan – people who work for big brands such as Toyota - who have been customers for nearly 30 years but we are also seeing new customers interested in the traditional three piece suit.”
The new adverts will launch next month advertising three cuts -St James, Mayfair and Chelsea. The collection is known as Pattern Order rather than Bespoke.
Bespoke garments are measured exactly to the individual and take at least three fittings while Pattern Order allows the Henry Poole style to be sold more widely at a cheaper price.
Henry Poole will also continue its biannual trunk shows at Hotel Okura in Tokyo and has a large number of Japanese Bespoke clients.
Henry Poole previously Japanese partner that it had worked with since 1964 but the business decided to close down its factory three years ago.